For me it all starts with Judging---or the cloak I like to hide judgement under---condemnation. I have an entire chapter of my soon to be released book dedicated to my propensity to judge-- NOT one of my more charming attributes. Beth hit the nail square on the head--how we look around us---spot something/someone---shake our heads in somber sadness--and then OPEN OUR MOUTHS and allow Satan to use us by our words of accusation and disapproval--BUT OH YES---ALWAYS---couched with "Bless their heart". I suppose our blessing them before blasting them is supposed to make it all right!
SO---I love to announce with my righteous glow to all around me---"I have forgiven". Truthfully I have---BUT the next step is Praying for Them-----BUT GOD DO YOU REMEMBER WHAT THEY DID TO ME????? After Beth's reminder of the scripture, she then instructed us to
BOW YOUR HEADS
PRAY FOR YOUR ENEMIES
You could have heard a pin drop in the midst of 8000 strong--not one sound---all heads down------And then---behind me ---this cry began---a SOULFUL-REMORSEFUL- CRY FILLED WITH PAIN AND ANGUISH----and it was not for a few seconds or even a minute-she cried tears among moans and groans of anguish for what seemed like an eternity. It echoed throughout that vast arena. It hit me--was this what heaven sounds like when I sin--when I am disobedient? THEN I could pray---reminded that God surely understands and knows our every tear--every moan--every groan.
It is NOT so much about praying for our enemy--though that is exactly what we are called to do---it IS about being obedient. God's word is NOT empty of reason and this command to pray comes with meaning as well. When I FINALLY could pray for those that have cut me to the core and broken my heart ---BECAUSE GOD HAD INSTRUCTED ME TO---THEN I HAD FORGIVEN THEM! It is an act of obedience BECAUSE God understands what is best for us. We extend mercy because HE first extended mercy to us.
If I am going to continue to develop that deep-deep relationship of love with Him---I MUST be disciplined in obeying His word. It is all there for a purpose and a reason AND that will lead to REALLY KNOWING Him----
"But I say to you,Love your enemies and pray for those that persecute you."
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